Call Centre Blues

sixstringsamuraiicon I condensed all my errands for the week onto Wednesday, and the day repaid me in kind. Actually, the errands were the fun part. I got candy for my little monsters, general grocery shopping was done, pumpkins were picked up, and a visit to the Sprint store went smoothly.

The only snag in the day was Comcast. I finally found the chat link so I could talk to an agent about my account. Said agent was very helpful…except there was nothing he could do, he had to tell me to call the customer service line. He was extremely apologetic. I hate the phone, but I buckled on my big-girl panties and dialed. I made my way through a phone tree that seemed determined to sell me everything but what I actually needed, and finally reached a human being, again. Who heard that I wanted to cancel a specific part of my services, and promptly put me on hold.

For twenty minutes.

I called back. The same thing happened. I called a third time. Another twenty minutes spent on hold. That made a full hour, at which point I decided I was feeling just murderous enough to go grocery shopping. I got on customer chat again, asking if there was some other avenue for me to cancel that specific part of my services. The second chat was full of the guy apologizing, but there was nothing. No supervisor, nobody I could email.

Just the “customer service” line. I know Chat #2 would have helped me if he could; he seemed to genuinely sense my frustration.

When I came home, I tried calling four more times. Each time, the phone tree (creepily verifying the number I was calling from as associated with the account in question) sent me to an “unassigned” number and hung up on me.

I was beginning to suspect Nefarious Things, but by then, I had started to see the funny side of things. Of course, I updated the entire internet on my almost-travail–did you know, there is a Fiverr who will deal with Comcast for you?–when hallelujah, I finally, FINALLY, on the eighth try, got through to a lovely lady named Shaniqua. (I hope I haven’t misspelled that.)

It took exactly three minutes for Shaniqua to do what I needed done on my account. She was pleasant, forthcoming, and quick. At this point I was almost pathetically grateful, and I am sure I would marry her if she asked, just on the strength of that phone call alone.

I know I got off lucky. Comcast, for some reason, had pity upon me after only eight calls and an hour on hold. I can only surmise they were having an off day. Poor Shaniqua, while just doing her job and making me pretty much the happiest woman in the world for a few moments, might be reprimanded for actually letting me cancel some part of my service. I understood why the first three reps dumped me into Hold Hell–even in a special call centre division for cancellations, they’re graded on customer retention. They’re damned by the company if they do their job, and damned by the customers if they don’t.

After I had that all sorted and the groceries put away, I headed out to the Sprint store, and I might have seen the devil carrying ice skates, because I was out of there in under an hour with everything I needed. (Shout-out to Matt–you were a gem, dear, and your Schwarzenegger impression is tops.)

When I am actually preferring going out to a store full of people to calling your customer service line, congratulations, you are the WORST. The fact that I was lucky, and only had a mildly unpleasant waste of a few hours of my time, just drives that home all the more. I’d shift to a different internet provider, but all the ones in my area are either too small to give me what I need or just as awful as Comcast.

After all that, though, I had a lovely chat with my boss-ass Padawan, and we managed to cover film criticism, podcasts, the role of art in Western culture, and conspiracy theories, all in under an hour and a half. (His brain goes at an amazing speed.)

The day finished off with the accidental pouring of a glass of wine into the silverware drawer. (Don’t ask.) I would have been upset, but I still had one glass left in the bottle and I figured the hardworking forks and knives needed a drink too. The Princess observed this after-dinner maneuver, and gently suggested I should go sit the fuck down and not be near any sharp edges for a while. And it occurs to me that I shouldn’t be sure everything is ducky with my Comcast account until I see the next bill.

All in all, I was extremely lucky. But I really, really, do NOT want to leave the house today. If I have to, I might take a machete with me.

Just in case.

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when you go to a Comcast, oh wait, Xfinity, storefront, they have this quaint custom of you giving them your name, and then they blazen it up on the caller board until you are called. When I ask they not do that, since I find thats really not a secure way of doing things, they tell me to make a name up. the old method was to take a number, and wait til the number is called. Which works a whole lot better in my book. I hates them my Precious, I do.

Colleen Champagne
Colleen Champagne

I have a long sad tale with ATT U-Verse recently. 8 people who could not help me cancel and oh so very politely asked me why? 2 on line chats and at least an hour later I started tweeting. Lo and behold a “social media manager” called me and took 30 seconds to take care of me. It’s so very crazy!